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Mark Darbon: Chief Executive’s statement on 2020/21 Season Ticket Rollover process

As we continue to face a significant battle to ensure the financial sustainability of the Club as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know just how lucky we are at Northampton Saints to have such a dedicated group of supporters. Once again, I would like to thank you all for your incredible backing and patience.

Whilst we understand that not everyone was in a position to do so, we were completely blown away by the generosity of our supporters at the end of last season, as together (through the ‘We March Together’ ticketing plan) they donated a significant sum of money back to the Club, or chose to accept their refunds in the form of Club credits/vouchers.

In addition, almost 5,000 of you have renewed or bought new Season Tickets for 2020/21, which given the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, is absolutely remarkable.

The outpouring of support we have received makes it all the more frustrating that it could still be some time before we can be together again at Franklin’s Gardens. Whilst we are all excited about the potential for rapid testing and even the roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine, uncertainty remains about when supporters will be permitted to return to sports stadia in the UK. Indeed, it pains me to point out just before the start of our new season, that it is very possible that a significant proportion of the 2020/21 campaign will be played behind closed doors or with a limited capacity.

As a result, today we have revealed a Ticket Rollover process – our clear plan for supporters who have purchased 2020/21 Season Tickets.

In short, we are asking supporters to transfer their 2020/21 Season Ticket to the 2021/22 campaign – while retaining a number of exclusive benefits for this coming season.

Crucially, in requesting that our Season Ticket Holders defer their seats to 2021/22, we are asking for patience – giving you the opportunity to support the Club without asking you to simply donate further cash at this time.

In agreeing to roll memberships over to next season, our Season Ticket Holders will benefit from a unique and important set of benefits, including:

  • For the duration of the 2020/21 season, you will have priority access to buy tickets for any matches which are held at Franklin’s Gardens where supporters are able to attend. If our stadium capacity is limited for these games and demand exceeds supply, there will be a ballot to allocate tickets amongst all priority access holders;
  • Free access to BT Sport’s Match Pass service for 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership matches held at Franklin’s Gardens until crowds are able to return* – meaning you are guaranteed to be able to watch online at home any Northampton Saints home match which is played behind closed doors;
  • Free subscription to Northampton Saints’ matchday programme – a new digital version will be sent to you before every home match for the duration of the 2020/21 season;
  • Your current matchday seat will be guaranteed for the 2021/22 season;
  • Your ticket price for the 2021/22 season will be FROZEN, meaning you will have nothing to pay next year, even if the price of your Season Ticket increases.

We hope a significant majority of our members will back our decision to transfer their Season Tickets over to the 2021/22 campaign. The Club’s Board, Executive Team, and I believe that this is the most transparent and pragmatic solution to the challenging situation we face – especially as it allows us to provide full clarity to our members before the upcoming season begins.

Season Ticket Holders do not need to do anything to facilitate the roll over. As explained in this overview and list of FAQs, everything will happen automatically. However, should any supporter not wish to transfer their Season Ticket to the 2021/22 season, they can contact the Club directly to discuss alternatives which, of course, will include a refund option as well as the opportunity to simply donate to the Club, if desired.

We will update you all further as soon as we can with any news concerning when we will be able to welcome crowds back to Franklin’s Gardens again. We continue to lobby government and other stakeholders on this topic, and we have been working hard to ensure we have a robust set of plans in place to operate the stadium safely as soon as we are allowed to so.

In the meantime, with the ongoing uncertainty we face, the Ticket Rollover plan will undoubtedly help us continue to safeguard the future of Northampton Saints so that, together, we can bounce back stronger than ever. Thank you again for your unparalleled support of the team and the Club.

Mark Darbon
Chief Executive

 

* Provided that BT continue to offer the service via Premiership Rugby. Rounds 1-4 have been guaranteed so far, and the provision will be reviewed as the season progresses.